The V&A Museum has won the Collections Trust’s inaugural Collections Practice Award, which celebrates projects that demonstrate the application of innovative practice to improve the sustainability and use of collections in arts and cultural organisations.
In a very strong field its Collections Management Project was considered the best entry because it demonstrated how collections management practice could support change and development embedded at the very heart of the organisation. It is designed to review and improve the museums’ management processes and extend support the Collections Management team offer the museum.
The judges said the V&A’s comprehensive approach and the way it had already started to deliver real efficiency gains for the museum, made it a worthy winner. They also commended the partnership between the V&A and software provider for the project System Simulation Ltd.
Other nominations were the Natural History Museum, Bristol City Museum and Gallery, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, National Museums Scotland, and Canterbury Museums Service.
Specially commended was the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery for their work which demonstrated how collections systems could support and empower engagement and showed the impact of effective partnership between the Museum and its system provider.
Also awarded was the Collections on a Budget Award, which was won by the recently-opened Museum of British Surfing. The judges commended their commitment to environmental sustainability in the design of their venue and their Collections Management, and for their work in engaging the local community, including youth groups, in the development of the museum service.
Trustee Andrew Coleman celebrates the Museum of British Surfing’s success. (Image © Peter D Kyte www.fotog.info )
The museum also won a £500 contribution towards its work. This new award celebrates projects which demonstrate improvement in collections management by organisations with a turnover of less than EUR500K.
In addition, a presentation was made of The Collections Trust Prize Dissertation. This was won by Elizabeth Bishop for Country House Revisited: The Economic and Cultural Impact of the English Country House as a Heritage Site. Her dissertation was recognised for its in-depth research, looking at the economic and cultural impact of country houses and their collections on the local and national economy.
Part of a 3-year partnership with the School of Museum Studies at Leicester University, this Award recognises the best research in the field of Collections Management by a Leicester student.
Commenting on the Awards, Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole says: “The emergence of a new, creative and dynamic role for museums was a key theme of our OpenCulture conference this year. These awards really demonstrate how Collections Management sits at the heart of this.
“The panel of expert judges were impressed by the scope and ambition of the nominated projects, as well as the commitment and professionalism of the teams leading them. These awards really show how far Collections Management has come as a professional community, and we look forward to celebrating these projects as they go forward.”